B.B. King’s guitar “Lucille” going up for auction

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by viribus, Jul 23, 2019.


  1. viribus

    viribus Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Pacific Northwest
    I never actually learned to play very well
    B.B. King's 'Lucille' guitar going up for auction

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Her name was “Lucille,” and in B.B. King’s hands she gave voice to the “King of the Blues.”

    Julien’s Auctions announced Tuesday that King’s black Gibson ES-345 prototype guitar is among the items from his estate that will go up for bid on Sept. 21.

    Julien’s says Gibson gave King the instrument for his 80th birthday. The headstock has “B.B. King 80” and a crown inlaid with mother-of-pearl. The guitar is estimated to be worth $80,000 to $100,000.

    The guitar was not the first to bear the name. The story goes that King first used that moniker for a guitar he rescued from a fire while he was playing an Arkansas club in 1949. The blaze broke out as two men fought over a woman, and the musician narrowly escaped death after he went back into the club to save his guitar, the auction house said.

    When King learned the woman’s name was Lucille, he named his guitar after her “to remind himself to never fight over a woman or run into a burning building,” the auction house said.

    The National Medal of Arts that President George H.W. Bush presented to King in 1990 is also up for auction. So are his touring van, jewelry and clothing.
     
    lizardking837, P. Aaron and ajkula66 like this.
  2. viribus

    viribus Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Pacific Northwest
    I never actually learned to play very well
    8BC40157-5731-4609-95BD-B23186EF2485.jpeg
     
    Tommy V, Axstar, bobyoung53 and 4 others like this.
  3. Oddly

    Oddly

    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    I hope someone like Clapton or Dave Grohl ... a player, rather than a collector, gets this.
     
    Tommy V, 40Hz, guitarflinger and 5 others like this.
  4. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    Nice bit of misdirection. :rollno:

    It is not Lucille at all, it is a one-off re-issue.
     
  5. Oddly

    Oddly

    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    Pendulous likes this.
  6. viribus

    viribus Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Pacific Northwest
    I never actually learned to play very well
    If King toured with it and played it and called it Lucille, it’s a legit Lucille. The story clearly says there was another Lucille.
     
  7. viribus

    viribus Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Pacific Northwest
    I never actually learned to play very well
    Is McCartney’s current Höfner not legit because it’s not the original Höfner?
     
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  8. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    Correct. IMHO.

    And it was the headline I was referring to as misleading.
     
  9. viribus

    viribus Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Pacific Northwest
    I never actually learned to play very well
    If King publicly called it Lucille, your beef is with King, not the headline writer.
     
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  10. viribus

    viribus Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Pacific Northwest
    I never actually learned to play very well
    I will say that if King only posed with that Gibson for a few photos, then I would agree it’s not a real Lucille. :)
     
    Aqualung60 likes this.
  11. Keyser Soze

    Keyser Soze Supporting Member

    B.B. played a lot of "Lucilles" throughout his 50+ year career, including -- among others -- Gibson 335s, 345s, 355s, and the Gibson "Lucille" model (no f hole) guitar. You can go to Google Images, or research elsewhere, and see pictures of him with many of them.

    He is pictured on stage playing the guitar being auctioned in the photo in the article. The guitar is being sold by B.B. King's own Estate (family.) I'm sure there's plenty of documentation that Gibson made this guitar for him and presented it to him. He owned it, he played it professionally, it says Lucille on its headstock, as some of his other Lucilles did (and many didn't.)

    BB King’s ‘Lucille’ guitar to go up for auction - Guitar.com | All Things Guitar

    There is absolutely nothing that I can see refuting that this is a B.B. King-owned and -played Lucille guitar, one of many.

    To me, this is a no-brainer. This is (one of the many of) B.B. King's Lucille guitars. It's legit. What's the question? Why the up-rage? Sheesh!
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
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  12. ardgedee

    ardgedee

    May 13, 2018
    It’s not the first Lucille. Maybe it was the last Lucille. There were a lot of Lucilles. The man got around.
     
    Jeff Scott, kobass, Haroldo and 7 others like this.
  13. bassman10096

    bassman10096 Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2004
    MKE
    BB was well-known for playing a whole series of “Lucille’s” over the years. IIRC he retired the original to protect it from the road. Gibson also produced a Lucille model for a time.
    McCartney was playing “his” Hofner from the Beatles days regularly on stage at least until recent years. That might have changed since then but I haven’t heard anything about it. The Hofner featured on most Beatles recordings was not the original either. His first Hofner was lost or stolen very early on. It had a bit different pickup spacing which is still around as the “Cavern” model.
     
  14. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    it's a guitar. cool beans. :D
     
    Jeff Scott likes this.
  15. Ostie

    Ostie

    Aug 1, 2018
    Mid MI
    The auction house clearly states that it is not the original Lucille from 1949. It’s a presentation guitar from Gibson for BB’s 80th birthday. There have been several Lucille’s over the years. As a touring musician, BB had spares in case one went down or was damaged or stolen.

    I was lucky enough to see him on his 80th birthday tour. Those that knew BB said that he was a very sweet, kind and humble man, and that was apparent from his stage persona. He was very conscientious about introducing his band and complimenting them, calling them out when they soloed. He told stories and engaged with his audience. Even though it was a large auditorium, it felt much smaller and intimate.

    He was truly an American treasure.
     
    Haroldo, Pendulous, Slinger and 3 others like this.
  16. Any plane the President flies is Air Force One. All BB's guitars were "Lucille" and he had many, not all the same and certainly no single "Lucille" can bear that title.
     
    Axstar, Spent and P. Aaron like this.
  17. HaphAsSard

    HaphAsSard

    Dec 1, 2013
    Italia
    [​IMG]
    (OK, maybe not this specific guitar.)
     
  18. Bunk McNulty

    Bunk McNulty It is not easy to do simple things correctly. Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2012
    Northampton, MA
    Even a Telecaster! (From Mr. Wiki)

    “King played guitars made by different manufacturers early in his career. He played a Fender Telecaster on most of his recordings with RPM Records (USA).[3]However, he is best known for playing variants of the Gibson ES-335.”
     
    HaphAsSard likes this.
  19. If you don't think it's legit then don't bid on it. :rollno:
     
  20. Rolling Stone published a good article on The Legacy Of Lucille and reading it, I'm wondering if the one that's up for auction is the "Lucille" that B.B. gave to Eric Dahl.
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Sep 23, 2021

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